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Energy's radiation-detection center to respond to DHS needs, chief says

February 3, 2006 A new Energy Department unit billed as the main U.S. radiation-detection laboratory will take some cues from a Homeland Security Department office set up last year, the director of the DOE project said this week. The Center for Radiation Detection Materials and Systems, part of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory,...

Mayors seek more federal support for disaster response

January 26, 2006 New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on Wednesday said the heavily criticized government response to Hurricane Katrina illustrates the need for a faster and reorganized national system for responding to all large-scale disasters, including terrorist attacks. Nagin told reporters at a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting that he is increasingly satisfied...

Panelists say regional DHS offices would help disaster response

January 24, 2006 The Homeland Security Department should establish regional offices to better support emergency responders in the event of a major terrorist attack or other catastrophe, experts said Monday. The department has said it intends in this fiscal year to begin developing a regional structure, an idea long championed by former Homeland...

Defense review to focus on handling of irregular threats

January 17, 2006 The forthcoming U.S. Quadrennial Defense Review will focus heavily on confronting weapons of mass destruction and terrorism threats through work with allies and new technological capabilities, a top Defense Department official said Tuesday. The department's work on the review, which is an extension of the March 2005 National Defense Strategy,...

Nuclear detection office starts new round of domestic tests

January 11, 2006 The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office this month is conducting its second major series of equipment tests, examining the performance of portable devices in detecting radiation sources ranging from common industrial materials to plutonium. After testing fixed portal-type monitors in October, the Homeland Security Department office this week began a monthlong...

House Democrat seeks new terrorist information-sharing unit

January 5, 2006 In the latest of a series of proposals for easing exchanges of terrorism information among U.S. federal, state and local agencies, the top Democratic representative on antiterrorism matters is calling for a new office to facilitate "vertical" information-sharing. The new unit would convert classified intelligence into forms usable by state...

Major metro areas found ineligible for anti-terror grants

January 4, 2006 Metropolitan areas as large as Phoenix and San Diego no longer qualify for a major terrorism-preparedness grant program under the Homeland Security Department's new, more "risk-based" eligibility formula. Homeland Security Tuesday issued a list of 44 regions that may seek a slice of the $765 million available in fiscal 2006...

DHS urged to re-expand research at animal disease facility

December 21, 2005 The Government Accountability Office recommended this week that the Homeland Security Department re-expand the recently narrowed research focus at a key animal-disease facility. Experts consulted by the auditing office for its report (GAO-06-132) said a heavy focus on foot-and-mouth disease in research at Plum Island Animal Disease Center is wise...

Judge orders U.S. to disclose rail-security documents

December 15, 2005 A federal judge's order issued Wednesday should require the Bush administration at last to hand over a secret rail-security plan for the District of Columbia, according to the D.C. Attorney General's Office. In a case in which the federal government and rail operator CSX are challenging what is effectively a...

Group sees some gains in bioterror response, but gaps remain

December 6, 2005 All but a few U.S. states are ill-prepared to distribute federally stockpiled drugs and to test human samples for chemical agents in the event of a terrorist attack, a public-health advocacy group said today in an annual readiness report. After studying federal data, interviewing officials and surveying hospital personnel, the...

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